A continuance of their South El Monte tournament from Nov. 27, girls varsity basketball went head to head with Pasadena High School on Dec. 1. The game ended with a loss of 44-36 leaving them at seventh place in the tournament.
As both teams warmed up, they stole glances at each other, observing their skills and searching for faults. Matadors powerfully took off on the court. The eagles’ rocky start and accidental giveaways were an advantage for San Gabriel’s chances to score. Directions from both coaches were instructed at the players, yet they handled the ball well under extreme pressure and expectations. San Gabriel’s rebounds were a success which eventually led them to a six-point lead, 10-4 at the end of the first quarter.
The players entered half-time giving their all on the court. Pasadena gave San Gabriel many free throws due to all the fouls and double dribbles, but they did not let those calls stop them from scoring. San Gabriel’s resilient defense prevented Pasadena from catching up. At the end of the second quarter, the Matadors remained at the close advantage of five points, 12-17.
The next quarter had Pasadena making a turnover with shots that swished while piercing through the net. They made clean-cut steals from San Gabriel and began to even out the scoreboard. When it was evident that SG’s energy eased off, Coach Jordan Franey called a timeout. San Gabriel and Pasadena went back onto the court continuing with the score, 26-25. The team’s mood lifted when senior captain Jennifer Yan made three consecutive shots finishing the third quarter at 28-27.
“We should not give up and keep our heads up during a game, even if we are losing,” Yan said.
San Gabriel’s defense stayed consistent but tiredness plastered onto their faces. Their many mistakes on offense led to Pasadena’s confidence boost. Despite the pressure, senior shooting guard, Lynh Luong shot a three-pointer by a fast steal from the opposing side. The score 32-33 had San Gabriel’s hopes up and left Pasadena uneasy. However, Pasadena recomposed and took over the court, ending the game at 44-36.
“We do great in practice but as well in games, which means we need to stop becoming a practice team but a team that’s unstoppable because we work hard not only during practice but also during games,” Yan said.
San Gabriel proved a fierce comeback on Saturday as they beat Bassett High School 76-26 on the last leg of their tournament without three starters. Bassett High School has sneered San Gabriel from their previous encounters, calling them “garbage.” San Gabriel took their insults and made a statement by blowing out the opposing team with a 50 point gap. They verified that they could compete as well as any other team as they showed what hard work meant on the court.